Gay Marriage

The Attack On Transgenders In The Military A Major Step Backward On Human Rights, And Must Be Resisted In Any Way Possible!

The decision of Donald Trump to declare that transgender individuals are not to be allowed to serve in the military is a major step backwards on human rights.

Transgender men and women have served in the military heroically in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they serve in the military in Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other advanced democracies with no troubles or complications.

This is simply an appeal to the bigoted Religious Right of Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and other preachers who claim wrongly to speak for Jesus Christ, who would reject their prejudice and hypocrisy.

It is also an attempt to take attention off the failed Health Care attempts to destroy ObamaCare, and also to take people’s minds off the investigation of the Russian collusion of the Trump campaign and Presidency.

It undermines the great progress made on gay rights and gay marriage, and now, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions is arguing that gays and lesbians and transgenders should not be considered as covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a total outrage!

Leave it to the right wing whackos, and we might see a future situation where women’s rights to an abortion, and even interracial marriages, might be reversed by a right wing Supreme Court majority.

It is good to see that the military is not, at least at this point, obeying a tweet of our unstable President, and hopefully, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will fight against it, and convince Trump that this will undermine military discipline and morale, and endanger the declared Transgenders already out in the military.

One can sadly expect more prejudice and discrimination against transgenders now in society, and some will die as a result.

Ironically, this bigoted, ignorant, and prejudiced statement by Trump occurred on the 69th anniversary of Harry Truman integrating the military in 1948, and one can be certain that if Truman were alive, he would have appropriate salty language visited upon Trump, and would probably wish to give Trump a swift kick in his rear end and in his private area as well, something million of Americans would cheer!

The End Of The Supreme Court Term: Any Retirements Coming?

This is the last week of the present Supreme Court session, and Court watchers are wondering if we are about to see a sharp swing to the Right, with the potential retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan nearly 30 years ago, and a crucial swing vote ever since on the Court.

Kennedy has been on the conservative side about two thirds of the time, and on the liberal side one third of the time, and without him, for instance, there would have been no advancements on gay rights and gay marriage, as he was the crucial fifth vote.

His vote this week may decide whether the Muslim ban of Donald Trump is upheld, or prevented, as it has been by several circuit courts around the nation.

Kennedy has been the unpredictable vote all by himself in the past decade, since Sandra Day O’Connor left the court at the end of 2005.

For a decade before 2005, it was said the Court was the “O’Connor-Kennedy Court”, and now for the past 12 years, it has been the “Kennedy” Court, more than the Roberts Court, as traditionally, the Court is described by the name of its Chief Justice.

Since Kennedy will be turning 81 in one month, and is the second oldest member of the Court, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 84, but has made clear she is going nowhere, and hopes to stay on the Court until 2021, so that hopefully a future Democratic President in 2021 can choose her successor.

So if Kennedy does retire this week, it will mark a sharp move to the Right, which will undermine constitutional law for the next generation!

History Tells Us Many States Are Not Protective Of Their Population: Reason Why We Need Federal Government!

Conservatives and libertarians love to promote the propaganda that “states rights” are the best government, and that state governments are there for their population’s needs.

History tells us otherwise, clear and simple.

“States rights” promoted 76 years of slavery under the Constitution, until it was ended by the Union winning the Civil War over the Confederacy.

“States rights” promoted segregation of the races for nearly a century after the Civil War until the 1960s.

“States rights” promoted laws against marriage, including blacks and whites, and gays and lesbians.

“States rights” promoted vigilante justice, including lynchings, chain gangs, and overly harsh criminal justice laws.

“States rights” promoted men having dominance over their wives in marriages, and resulting abuses toward women.

“States rights” promoted inferior education, including denial of historical facts, and of science, favoring religious ideas over facts.

“States rights” promoted violations of voting rights, with the intent of ruling white upper classes controlling who could vote.

“States rights” promoted denial of health care to people, while insisting on all fetuses being taken to birth against a woman’s wishes.

“States rights” promoted resistance to the Bill of Rights, and to federal government political, social, and economic reforms that made America pursue the goals of democracy, equality, and justice.

Those states that have regularly promoted “states rights” have been the most backward, the most discriminatory, the most regressive. the poorest, and have depended on the more advanced and open minded states for their economic existence.

It is the “Red” states, those in the old Confederate South, and in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, where we see the worship of “states rights”, as long as the elite political and religious hierarchy keep control over their populations, and keep them ignorant and under mind control.

History tells us that these states are not protective of the needs of their population, the reason we need a strong, assertive federal government, ready to step in, and having bettered life for people who are seemingly unaware how they have been manipulated by corrupt state governments.

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

The Positive Contributions Of The Joe Biden Vice Presidency

Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, is leaving public life after 44 years in the federal government, 36 as a US Senator from Delaware, and 8 years as Vice President.

Joe Biden is a true national treasure, who if not for the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May 2015, might have run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might very well have defeated Hillary Clinton, and then won the election in the crucial states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Although Biden will be 78 in 2020, he has the energy, the knowledge, the experience needed to defeat Donald Trump, and he just might return to the Senate in 2018, if Tom Carper follows through on his plans to retire.

So it is not yet time to say Biden’s career is over, although in elective office, it might be, but he will play a public role because it is in his blood to do so, and he will not stay silent when he sees wrongs being done by the Donald Trump Administration.

The alliance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was the closest one in American history, possibly matched by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, who in two days will have both survived the amazing total of 36 years since the Presidency and 40 years since their election in 1976!

Obama utilized Biden’s connections on Capitol Hill; and gave Biden an office in the White House, as Carter had done for Mondale; and had weekly lunches with Biden as Carter did with Mondale.

Joe Biden was a true Presidential Advisor, full time participant, and trouble shooter, and was not afraid to disagree with Obama, particularly on foreign policy, his expertise, but was always a loyal part of the team once a decision had been made by the President.

Biden’s warm, sincere personality was lovable, and he was able to work across the aisle on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and other influential Republicans, and the entire Senate honored him recently for his cordial and effective role in the Senate.

Biden took the lead on gay rights and gay marriage; protection of women against violence; immigration reform; environmental advancements; gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre; and the War on Cancer after his son died of that horrendous disease. Foreign leaders also, totally, respected him.

Joe Biden could be regarded as the greatest Vice President in American history, and his lifelong contributions will mark him in history as a very special political leader!

Thank you for your service to the nation and to Barack Obama, Vice President Biden!

Evan McMullin, Independent Presidential Nominee, Could Win Utah’s 6 Electoral Votes

In the midst of all of the attention paid to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein, there is actually another Presidential candidate on the ballot in eleven states, Evan McMullin, running as a conservative alternative.

McMullin is a possible winner in Utah, with its 6 electoral votes, with his Mormon heritage, and his record as Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference, and as a CIA Operations Officer, all by the age of 40, easily the youngest Presidential candidate in a year where three are “elderly” and Gary Johnson is 63.

In a recent poll, McMullin had 20 percent, only a few points behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and with Gary Johnson having 14 percent, so there is a real four way race in Utah, the only state that we see that situation.

McMullin is pro life on abortion matters; accepts gay marriage; is pro free trade; against mass deportation of undocumented immigrants; and supports the basics of ObamaCare, but wants to make a better system. He is critical of Donald Trump on counter terrorism measures, as he has years of experience in that area of policy making.

He could “mess up” the Electoral College, and could become the first non major party candidate to win a state’s electoral votes since George Wallace in 1968.

It is highly unlikely that if he won the state of Utah with its 6 electoral votes, that he would be the decisive factor in who wins 270 electoral votes, but in theory, he could prevent any candidate from winning the required number of electoral votes, and require the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which has not been used since 1824, to be dusted off once again after 192 years!

If such a scenario developed, there is a slight chance that McMullin could become President, but do not bet on it by any means!

Mike Pence Another Horrible Republican VP Pick, Following Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, And Sarah Palin

The Republican Party has had a horrible history regarding Vice Presidential running mates, and twice, the nation was saddled with the choices as Vice President, making us pray for the health of the sitting President.

First, Richard Nixon selected Spiro Agnew, Governor of Maryland, who turned out to be the most worrisome VP of the 20th century, a true demagogue going after the news media and liberal critics with a vengeance,and turning out to be involved in illegal money laundering and bribery, forcing him to resign in October 1973, but saving us from an Agnew Presidency, and instead giving us Gerald Ford as the next President when Richard Nixon resigned.

Then, George H. W. Bush selected Dan Quayle, Senator of Indiana, who turned out to be a not very bright and informed Vice President, and when Bush had an atrial fibrillation, we had to worry that “Danny Boy” might succeed him. Quayle proved to be lacking in intelligence or brains.

Finally, we had John McCain select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin,who was a total nightmare and still haunts us eight years later as a true pest, who has no brains and no character at all, and yet has millions of clueless people who love this new “reality star”.

Now we have Donald Trump selecting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was a major supporter of the rise of the Tea Party Movement; promoted an anti gay accommodations bill, which he had to backtrack on over protests from corporations who withdrew plans for expansion in the Hoosier state; has stated his lack of belief in evolution or climate change; has come across as a Christian right wing extremist of the worst order including opposition to a women’s right to choose on abortion and refusal to accept gay rights and gay marriage; has said tobacco is not a health risk; and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

The Republican Party has added to its history of having horrible, scary Vice Presidential nominees, and this is just another reason to fight against Donald Trump in this year’s election.

Would Mike Pence Help Donald Trump And Be An Asset? NO!

Mike Pence is said to be Donald Trump’s choice for Vice President.

The Indiana Governor brings his comparative youth at age 57 compared to Trump who is 70.

He brings 12 years of Congressional experience and leadership of the Republican Conference for two years, as well as four years as Governor of a potential “Swing” State, which went to Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

He is a less dynamic person, not the type to seek controversy, and very different in that sense than Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.

But his hard line social conservative views, which make him popular with the Christian Right, is not going to help Donald Trump win the Presidency.

Pence allowed the passage and signing of a bill that discriminated against gays and lesbians in public accommodations, and then had to ask for a revision of it, when corporations decided to oppose it and moved to stop expansion into the state, a blow to the Indiana economy. In backing off a bit, he alienated the most extreme social conservatives, who are anti abortion, anti gay rights and anti gay marriage, deny climate change, and work against women being equal in a family unit to their husbands.

We are not going back to the 1950s, or to a white supremacist America, where minorities have little input or concern, and where whites claim they are being discriminated against.

This election will be the 1950s white dominated America pre civil rights, pre woman;s rights, pre gay rights, pre environmental movement, pre immigration reform America against 21st century America with all of the advancements in human rights and science that have occurred in the past half century!

War On Gay And Lesbian America In Full Swing By Religious Fanatics And Republicans!

The shocking murder of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, along with 53 others wounded, many of them in serious condition, is a sign of the war on gays and lesbians raging in America by religious fanatics and Republicans!

The perpetrator was a Muslim fanatic, a person devoted to ISIS, but it is not just Islamic terrorism that is guilty of this crime.

It is religious fanaticism of all religions, which refuses to treat gays and lesbians as human beings with basic human rights, as much as straight Americans.

It is white Americans, black Americans, Hispanic Americans who use their religious fanaticism to hate gays and lesbians, with many people repudiating their own children and other family members.

It is evangelical Christian extremists, Catholic extremists, Jewish extremists, Hindu extremists, Mormon extremists–extremists of all religions—who promulgate hatred and prejudice and discrimination.

It is ministers who promote hate, and priests who promote hate from their pulpits.

It is Republicans who refuse to accept gay rights and gay marriage, and refuse to mention that this terrorist event involved gays and lesbians, as if the people killed do not matter.

It is Donald Trump refusing to acknowledge until just now that gays and lesbians were killed, only bragging that he was “right” that this was another example of radical Islamic terrorism, and calling on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to resign for refusing to use that term. It took Trump two days until now finally to show concern that it was gays and lesbians who were the victims.

Donald Trump should resign from the race if he refuses to accept that gays and lesbians have the same rights as anyone else in America, including marriage rights, as decided by the Supreme Court of the Unites States.

This is a human rights crisis of massive proportions, and the religious fanatics and Republicans cannot be allowed to triumph, as this would be a crime on the scale of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust against gays and lesbians, often forgotten!

Hillary Clinton Campaigning As A “Progressive”, Against Husband Bill Clinton’s “Moderate” Presidency!

Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a “progressive”, but her husband, while in office as the 42nd President, was far from progressive!

Many would say that Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a “raging moderate” in so many ways.

Despite being attacked by Republicans incessantly, and being impeached by them as well, Bill Clinton actually cooperated with them on many issues, and was also often quite critical of liberals in his own party.

Witness:

He signed into law the end of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.

He signed into law the end of the federal guarantee of welfare in 1996, leaving it to the states to decide levels of support of single mothers and children, and the elderly and disabled.

He signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was a big step back from the idea of gay equality.  Earlier in 1994, he had promoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military, backing away from equality for gays.

He signed the Omnibus Crime legislation in 1994, which was a major crackdown on crime, and that allowed the arrest and incarceration of many young people, many of them African American and Latino, on minor drug charges, filling up America’s prisons.

He signed NAFTA into law in 1993, which undermined labor, and caused an influx of foreign goods, due to the low tariffs, now opposed by his wife.

He signed into law a repeal of much of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998,  which led to bank expansion of loans and mortgages, and much larger banks that helped to lead to the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

He called himself a “New Democrat” in 1992, criticized liberalism often, and was involved in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council group.

This does not mean that Bill Clinton did not have some really positive aspects domestically to his Presidency, but he was certainly considered by many to be a “Republicrat”, rather than a Democrat.

He, along with Jimmy Carter, were the least progressive Democratic Presidents, when compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and also Barack Obama, after Carter and Clinton.

This might be because Carter and Clinton were Southern Democrats, but the point is that Bill Clinton, while good on some issues, was not a progressive, as his wife now is campaigning on against Bernie Sanders!

Does it mean that Hillary Clinton cannot have “learned” from the mistakes  of the 1990s, honestly?  NO, but the point is she is very different as a campaigner than her husband was!

Of course, when one thinks about it, Hillary is running for the Presidency a full generation after her husband won his second and last term, the last time he was facing the voters!